The Fedberg Factor…

Hi friends. I feel there is a new sense of optimism and community about my blog of late. We are having some good discussions and everyone seems to be interacting well. It’s nice to see after all this time that my blog is going stronger than ever. I feel the same about Roger and his tennis. The last couple of posts have focused on the Djokovic and Nadal rivalry because Roger lost early in Rome. So I’d like to get back to Roger for a change. After my last post Joe commented about the things that has improved in Roger’s game in 2014. And there has been a lot of improvements. Of course Roger decided to make changes to his equipment and coaching staff, which almost immediately started paying off. You gotta give him credit for making changes when it was called for. The new racquet was very much needed I thought.

I actually suggested it before Roger made the actual change. I think the new racquet has improved Roger’s serve and ground strokes, and possibly his volleys too. It is difficult to say exactly how the new racquet has improved these things, but I’m sure it has. I think on the serve and ground strokes it has given Roger more power and consistency. But even more importantly was the hiring of his own idol and legend of the game Edberg as his new coach. It just seemed meant to be when it happened. The mutual respect between the two are just huge, but aside from that they are a great personality match and get along very well. And ever since Edberg showed up alongside the court in Melbourne I could sense an immediate change in Roger. A certain mental tranquility which was not there before, or mental equilibrium like Joe put it so well.

What Roger will be wearing

And it immediately made a difference to his results as he defeated Tsonga and Murray to make the semis in Melbourne. It kept paying off as Roger won Dubai and made the final in Indian Wells. Then Roger lost in Miami, which has never been very kind to him, to a very dangerous young player in Nishikori. But Roger was right back in the hunt at Monte Carlo where he defeated Djokovic in the semis and lost to Stan after winning the first set and losing the second set breaker. And then of course there was the unfortunate loss to Chardy in Rome after Chardy came up with that passing shot on match point down. It happens and it’s nothing to worry about. So since Fedberg became a team things have changed drastically since 2013. Roger has just not quite been able to break through to win a big title.

A slam semi, two Masters finals, and an ATP 500 title is nothing to scoff at however. You can add the ATP 250 final in Brisbane there as well. It would have been ideal if Roger picked up one of those Masters titles of which he was a finalist, but it was both very close losses to two very good players. Knowing how positive Roger is he won’t let those two losses affect him too much. He will keep knocking at the door until it opens. Whether it will open at the French Open is another story, but I think Roger can have a good run anyway. The important thing is that he just hung on to the #4 spot in the rankings after Djokovic defeated Ferrer in Rome. Now he has to capitalize and try and improve on last year’s quarter final result. Roger has already been in Paris since the beginning of the week training so he looks ready and raring to go.

If it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth doing

The loss to Chardy in Rome certainly won’t affect him, and I think he is motivated to do well on clay again. Last year’s loss to Tsonga was of course a disappointment and he would definitely want to improve on that. I think semi-finals is a realistic goal for Roger this year. A lot will depend on the draw and how things play out as the tournament progress. Players like Nishikori, Raonic, Murray, and Berdych will all be dangerous to face at the quarter final stage. Even Ferrer, despite Roger’s 14-0 head-to-head record over him. Then if Roger is in Nadal’s half it is a problem, unless Nadal gets upset earlier. If Roger is in Djokovic’s half and they happen to meet in the semis with Nadal waiting in the final, I wouldn’t want Roger to save Nadal again like he did in 2011. I think this year Djokovic has a good chance of doing what I’m sure he would have done in 2011 had Goderer not showed up.

I don’t know if Roger could repeat that feat again anyway at this stage. Djokovic looked awfully good in the Rome final, while Roger lost his first match. I just feel like this may well be Djokovic’s year. I want Roger to have a solid French Open which would mean making semis at least, and then he can really give it another big shot during the grass court season. He will certainly have his chances again at Wimbledon. I’m not sure if Murray will be back to his best again at Wimbledon, while if Nadal does not win the French he will not be a threat at Wimbledon either. As far as Djokovic goes he is not the greatest grass court player out there and Roger will always have his chances against him on grass. Fedberg is too impressive a team not to win at least one slam between them.

Don’t you think?

Update: Just saw this tweet on twitter –

Edberg:”I told Roger that he can win a GS again.French Open isn’t our priority but W/A bit of luck he has a chance” @Ignacio_DeLoma

Fedberg up to something a little ‘different’:

Posted in Uncategorized.

50 Comments

  1. I agree that this is Djokovic’s tournament to lose. Roger may have a chance if Nadal loses early but the main priority is to get to the QFS and possibly the Semis. The lack of of recent matches is worrisome but hopefully if Roger wins the first couple if matches he’ll get back to his normal match fitness..

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  2. Great post Ru-an, love the smiling fed photo and love the Edberg tweet you added. That is exactly how I feel about it. Excited to see a solid improved performance that builds confidence for Wimbledon, but with a little luck anything is possible. So I guess it’s strange to think this way but I actually want roger in nadals half. If either someone else takes Nadal out early, or roger has my dream come true match and beats rafa in the semis, roger has a reasonable chance to beat djoker in the final to win. The other way around, then roger could weaken djoko in the semis to help Nadal beat him, or roger beats djoko and is weakened himself before having to play Nadal. Crazy, huh?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Eric. I don’t like to think that far ahead but should we have those scenarios I’d want Fed in Nadal’s half too. Then he can possibly tire out Nadal before Nadal has to face Djokovic. But neither Nadal or Djokovic really tires anyway. They would have to be taken at least to five sets for it to make any difference.

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  3. You’re right, they certainly don’t seem to tire no matter what, but there’s something about playing Roger that takes it’s toll. Maybe the mental energy required. Maybe how different his game is from everyone else. Not sure why, but even if he doesn’t tire them, he does seem to screw them up a little for the next round somehow.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    True. I think in Djokovic’s case that is for sure possible. Not so much in Nadal’s case, which is all the more reason I wana see him in Nadal’s half. If he beats Nadal then he deserves to be in the final anyway.

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    Eric Reply:

    Roger that!

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  4. Hey Ru-an. Good article. I think Roger made the same “deal” with Edberg that he made with Annacone: back to world number 1 and a slam (or more).
    I don’t know about Roger’s former coaches before Annacone, but Roger and Edberg seem…. so perfect. In every way. Good and nice guys. Respect and admiration for each other. It just shows. And maybe it is me, but Annacone and Roger were kind of “businesslike”. When Roger was having many problems with Nishikori in the third set, Edberg was seriously worried. His face. Even more than Mirka. I really saw him nervous and worry (more than Annacone used to). You can tell that Stefan really wants the best for Roger. And together they will create magic.

    To be honest, I do think it was not “right” of Stefan to say that RG was not their “priority”. To be honest, they should make it MORE their priority than Wimby. I mean, if Roger wins RG, he will be the first to win all the slams twice. They should really go for that. Because believe it or not, if not next year, then the year after, but Rafa will win AO once. And if Roger doesn’t win RG before that, the Goat discussion will favour Rafa. So, in my opinion, honestly, Roger and Stefan should make RG their first and only priority this year (oke, maybe DC and Wimby). Because if Roger beats Rafa to it (winning every slam twice), no matter if Rafa surpassed Roger, Rafa’s fans could not take that away from Roger and the Goat-discussion.

    But…. it could also be that Stefan is downplaying Roger’s chances to take away the pressure from Roger. I mean… there is a reason right that they were practising there very soon???
    Still….. Roger will win RG :-) I bel18ve in the one and only Goat :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think there is any ‘deal’ Katyani. You can’t ask your coach to guarantee you a slam or getting back to #1. It doesn’t work that way. As for Edberg saying the FO is not a priority he is just repeating what I already said. He knows the FO is Roger’s worst chance of winning a slam and does not want to put any pressure on Roger to win it. If it happens it happens but he knows Roger’s best chance of winning a slam is probably at Wimbledon. Roger is not in his prime anymore and the fans has to lower their expectations and be realistic. I understand what it would mean to win a second career slam. It would be amazing but to expect Roger to win the FO is absurd. He couldn’t even win it in his prime. Saying Roger WILL win the FO is just as absurd.

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  5. Oh and just one thought. Isn’t it funny? Roger fans now actually want Rafa in Roger’s draw so
    1) he can maybe beat Rafa or
    2) tire Rafa out or
    3) to stop Roger from defeating or tiring Novak so he can defeat Rafa :-)

    Me, I want Roger in Rafa’s draw, but for another reason. Just simple, so that he can defeat Rafa. Because he has to face that demon one way or the other. At AO Rafa was maybe still a bit unbeatable, but now so many have beaten or almost beaten him, this MUST give Roger more hope. He has beaten a fit Rafa before. Not a lot, but he has done it. And THIS Rafa is beatable. Trust me guys, even in 5 sets. It takes Rafa longer to catch his breath, he is getting more tired, they all make him run more and he is not extremely high in confidence. THIS IS the best time Roger has to beat him. Even if Rafa loses before and Roger wins the title, some stupid person will say anyway, of course he won now that Rafa lost early. He HAS to face Rafa and beat him. Period. And he can.

    And about Novak. This is on one side his year to win RG. But on the other side (may sound harsh), but I don’t see him win RG ever…. I see him win many slams, but not RG. So if not Roger, than Novak has to win RG, otherwise he might never win it….

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I admire your optimism Katyani but I’m afraid expecting Roger to beat Nadal at RG is more wishful thinking than anything else. He couldn’t even beat him at Wimbledon or the AO in their last 4 slam meetings. I hate to always be the one who give people the ‘bad news’, but I am just being realistic and I don’t believe in creating expectations. Roger got straight setted by Nadal the last time they played at a HARD COURT slam. What makes you think he will beat him at a clay slam?! Personally I want Roger to be in Nadal’s half because if he is not gonna beat him in the final he may as well lose to him in the semis. That way at least he won’t tire Djokovic out if he was in his semi, because we know Roger can do that to Djokovic. Since the chances of Roger winning the FO is slim the first priority is for Nadal not to win it. And for that to happen Djokovic probably has to win it. I don’t like to look so far ahead because anything can happen but since you brought this up I had to respond. Roger has had enough shots at Nadal in the FO final and couldn’t pull it off. Now it is time for him to face Nadal in the semis. If he wins then he deserved his final spot and can deal with Djokovic for the title.

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    Eric Reply:

    Katyani, I admire your optimism too and I adore you and I hope that you are right. And I truly believe that it is possible and will be rooting w all my heart. But… Ru-an is exactly perfectly correct with his thinking and analysis. To want and even believe is one thing, but to expect, on this court, at this stage, is not realistic. Edberg would be foolish to make it the priority when it’s the least likely slam victory. That would set roger up for a disappointment that could damage his chances at the more likely slams. What a great and smart coaching move to instead say what he said and let roger play more freely. You know both of them, like all of us, would love a victory at RG more than anywhere else. I think it’s the only slam Edberg never won himself! So don’t worry Katyani, they are going to try like hell to win this tournament. They just want to keep things cool and regardless of the outcome, set up a great year. So far, in my opinion, they are doing everything, dead right. And Ru-an is just doing what he always does and calling it like he sees it.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey guys, please please please don’t read too much into my predictions. I love to make them. But I am not an idiot. I know Roger has almost no chances to win RG, but it doesn’t hurt to hope it right??
    Seriously, for me nothing has changed after 2013. I still believe in Roger that he can win every tour he enters BUT I STILL take it one point, one game, one set, one match at the time !!! I am not an idiot guys, I have no high expectations for Roger only to end up beeing hurt or angry at Roger. That he plays is more than enough for me. BUT… I do think FOR ME it is boring to say all the time: taking it one point, one match at the time. That is what is so great about life. You can hope and expect and predict.

    I predict that Holland will win WC. But even I know that is not gonna happen, Doesn’t mean I cannot hope and stand behind my country?
    I predict that Roger wins RG. If he does, all the kudos to Roger. If he doesn’t… well there is always next year. I will not and will never hold it against Roger, love the dude too much for that. So… don’t worry, it is just for fun…

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Ru-an, if my predicting bothers you, than tell me, I can stop with them. As long as you don’t tell to stop beeing optimistic about Roger. That… I cannot do. The dude is himself very optimistic, even about his chances, so he drags me in to it too :-)
    And like Veronica, our own optimistic guru, I can also not stop beeing optimistic :-)

    Well Veronica… you see… I am also trying new funny words. Did it work?? Did it?? Did it?? :-)

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    Veronica Reply:

    You know you light up the world, right, Dutch Dynamite?!! That’s your gift to the world and that’s all that matters!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘Still….. Roger will win RG :-) ‘ ‘ I know Roger has almost no chances to win RG’

    You are being a bit confusing Katyani. It’s hard to take you seriously when you make two statements like that back to back.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Oh Ru-an, don’t take me and my comments too seriously. Fortunately or unfortunately life is serious anyway :-) I am just having fun. Roger makes me worry too much anyway….

    Ps: I just remembered, I think the dark horses at RG will be Thiem and Raonic…

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  6. Now that even Judy Murray thinks it might work…. anyone see JMac becoming Andy’s coach??

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    veronica Reply:

    The day Big Mouth becomes Andy’s coach, the slams end for him right there….

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    Eric Reply:

    But could be very entertaining. Murray likes to yell at his box, and I don’t see JMac just sitting there and politely taking it. Fireworks.

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  7. Ru-an, is this a mini revival, one post after another?! Thanks anyway! Roger is living out an unbelievable boyhood dream; hitting balls with his idol and being coached and inspired by him. Edberg is exactly what Roger needs at this point of his career. Like everyone here, I too prefer Roger in Nadal’s half. We must treat Djoko like a Glass Princess, preserved from all harm, all hardships. Get him all dolled up with egg masks; and only gluten-free to pass his mouth. Roger must at all costs not tell him to “be quiet please” and not want to win against him! Then, only then, maybe the Glass Princess can slay the Clay King! As FO draw closer and I’m reading all the media on Nadal’s vulnerability, I’m actually beginning to think that it will not be easy at all to dethrone the Clay Monster. We are talking about winning 3 sets from Nadal, on clay, in RG. Only done ONCE before. Not gonna be easy. If he just refuses to go down and just hangs around, I can still see him squeezing out a win. Whoever plays him would need to be on their game the entire match. Further, it’s not like he is injured. He has lost confidence that’s all. We can be sure he will spill blood defending his turf this year. A fighting Nadal. A wounded(heart, no knees!) Nadal. We better be darn sure it is Djoko he faces come the final!! Draws should be out around now! Fingers crossed!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    “We must treat Djoko like a Glass Princess, preserved from all harm, all hardships”… Goat remark Veronica :-) How do you come up with these things !!!
    And no…. unfortunately Roger is not on Rafa’s side. So he should beat both Novak and Rafa or …. lose to Novak. I am with you guys on this, I would love to see Roger win RG, but Rafa losing RG is much much more important. I just hope… Roger can make both happen :-)

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    rahan Reply:

    Some details from RG draw:

    NADAL:

    Ginepri, Thiem, Pospisil, Haas or Almagro, Dimitrov or Ferrer, Wawrinka or Murray,

    FEDERER:

    Lacko, Q, Tsurnov or Querrey, Youzny or Gulbis, Berdych or Isner, Djokovich

    DJOKOVICH:

    Sousa, Chardy, Cilic, Janovicz or Tsonga, Nishikori or Raonic, Federer

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Rahan, Roger has a doable draw….
    But nowadays, all the top have difficult draws. I don’t think a draw is that easy anymore. They are all capable of beeing beaten early on…

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    veronica Reply:

    Thanks Kat! Roger inspires me! Haha! Roger has a doable draw. Just hoping and waiting and praying and wishing for Nadal to lose before the final!!! Then…. all things are possible, Kat!!! Your prediction just might come true!!!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Actually sweet sweet girl, I hope Roger gets inspired like you inspire me !!! Did you notice lately that I am trying to be funny too in my comments??? I know… is not working yet… but in time… in time :-)

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  8. Darn darn darn. Roger, you listen to us and you listen well! Do not repeat FO 2011! Repeat! Do not repeat FO 2011! Djoko and Nadal comes as a PACKAGED deal. You take them both or you don’t take them at all! Deal?!!! Gosh guys, I see Birdshit……ahhhhh!… I don’t wanna see beyond one match at a time……but if things go according to script and Roger meets Djoko……gosh, guys it would be AGONY PERSONIFIED!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Oh my God, will this really happen?? If we know for sure that Rafa made the SF or Final…. oh my God… will this be the first time most of Roger fans (including me !!!) cheer for Roger to lose and Novak to win??? World upside down, but like you said, it is a package deal. Beat both or don’t beat Nole at all :-)

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    Eric Reply:

    I simply cannot do it.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Eric, it’s like choosing your wife or your daughter….simply can’t do it. But the good thing about it is that if he loses to Djoko and Nadal is waiting in the final, we wouldnt be feeling bad at all about the loss! Yay!! I’m just trying to find positives! Haha!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Oops! Eric, sorry! That analogy doesn’t quite apply to you as you are saying you simply can’t root against roger. The analogy illustrates the case for fans who are torn between rooting for or against Roger!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Again I don’t think you are rooting against Roger if you want Djokovic to win. It’s all about perspective. By rooting for Djokovic you are in truth rooting for Roger, seen from a more accurate perspective.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup. There are no regrets for me if Roger loses to Djokovic and Nadal is waiting in the final. None whatsoever.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You don’t have to cheer for Roger to lose and Novak to win Kat. If it’s a problem then don’t cheer at all. It’s all for the greater good.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    All this happy banter is catching! Can I sum it up and hope for a new name on the trophy or maybe one that has missed a few years.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Elizabeth! You have the BEST answer! You win the banter! Haha!

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    Katyani Reply:

    This RG will be very interesting. Can’t wait :-)

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    Veronica Reply:

    Can’t wait 2!! I just hope Roger is match ready. When he scaled back his 2013 schedule he didn’t do well. He said so himself this year that he needs to keep on playing and not to keep away from the game too much. I really hope for a good FO for him, at least semi, and I will be very happy. If he wins of course it is the best. What would be a nightmare is if he pulls another Rome! Did you see that short vid of him practising with Grigor? He looked sharp and all ready!

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  9. Guys, do you think Roger actually has the easiest draw?! Birdshit is not really a threat on clay and maybe Gulbis can be tricky. But all the young in form guys are not with Roger. He has a manageable draw until semis. I think Nadal’s, Djoko’s and Stan’s are much tougher. If Nadal loses before the final, all things are possible! Ru-an, look forward to your draw post!!

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  10. Ok, so RF did not get the draw I was hoping for but hey that’s why they say luck of the draw right? I was really hoping it wouldn’t have to go this way but now that it is, in no way can I hope that IF Roger plays great and makes it to the semis, which is never easy, that Djoko beats him, just so Nadal has to face Djoko. I’m simply not capable of rooting against Roger. I therefore hope for an early Nadal exit, or… The most inspired RF victory of all time. Go maestro go. As hard as this will be, anything is possible when you are THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    That is why it’s pointless to discuss these things at this point Eric. Anything can happen. We will deal with it if it comes to that.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Part of the excitement and fun of the game is in the anticipation, Ru-an!!! It’s been donkey’s years since FO has been so open. Better have fun while it lasts!!! Haha! Thanks anyway for keeping things grounded and living in the moment. Somebody’s feet need to be firmly on the floor while the rest of us are just spilling over with excitement and anticipation, yah?! Haha! FO, here we come!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes it does look more open that in recent years Veronica. I just hope Stan can have a good tournament for once and go all the way to the semis. He could beat Nadal too if he is firing on all cylinders.

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  11. I will always root for RF but I’m just excited for some great tennis. It’s the French Open! Time to get dirty in the red clay!!

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